AMA Supercross: Ken Roczen Sets the Tone For 2017 at Anaheim I

Monster Energy AMA Supercross kicks off at Angles Stadium with wins for HRC

Ken Roczen HRC Supercross AMA
Ken Roczen fires the first shot of the 2017 AMA Supercross season at Anaheim I.©Motorcyclist

It's a New Year, and nothing kicks the New Year off properly like motorcycle racing. As per tradition, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season kicks off at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California. For the third time in four years it was Ken Roczen's day. It was also marked his third win with three different teams/manufacturers… But bringing it back to present tense, Roczen's dominating win, straight out of the gate with his new Team Honda HRC squad, left its mark. An over 16 second gap on the competition to herald in Roczen's year?

While Roczen was pleased with his result, he’s been around long enough to know that you can't win the championship at Anaheim. He’s in for the long haul.

“I pretty much just focused on myself,” Roczen said. “Tried to not make mistakes. The track got rough and it was hard underneath and really peppery on top so it really required a lot of focus and not do any mistakes. Overall I’m really happy with how it went. We’ve got to keep our head on our shoulders and look forward to the next weekend. It’s good. It’s fun to celebrate our first win but there’s a lot more races to go. We’ve just got to keep the focus.”

Ryan Dungey AMA Supercross
Ryan Dungey would’ve preferred the top step on the podium, but the three-time AMA Supercross champ knows that it’s all about consistency and not making big mistakes.©Motorcyclist

Hoping to interrupt that zen-like focus are a pair of Red Bull KTM riders – reigning champion Ryan Dungey and Marvin Musquin. Dungey, like Roczen, is well aware that there are 16 rounds left on schedule and didn’t want to end his season at the season opener.

“I could see where Kenny (Roczen) was and just tried to gauge where he was at,” Dungey said. “He had a decent size lead, but for me I was more focused on not really making a crazy mistake. The track was kind of pretty tough tonight. It would reach out and bite you a little bit if you tried too hard. So I just tried to play it cool and just put my laps in and no mistakes and gauge where I was at and see where Marvin (Musquin) was. I tried to play around with that a little bit. But overall I’m happy with the race. It’s the first time back on the gate in a while so it’s nice to get things rolling again.”

Marvin Musquin AMA Supercross
Dungey’s teammate Marvin Musquin showed great speed at the season opener and looks to be in the mix in 2017.©Motorcyclist

As for Dungey’s teammate Musquin, the Frenchman was happy to get a podium at the first race of the year in spite of the tough track conditions.

“It was a good race,” Musquin said. “To be able to get a podium here in Anaheim for the first round is big for me. I was really looking forward to it and I knew I was capable but there’s so many good guys right now. The track was tough, too. The obstacles were not really difficult but the dirt made it really tough. Really choppy and challenging. I think we can do better with the bike too for next weekend.”